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Dentists delay appointments

With COVID-19 now thoroughly spread into the United States, the American Dental Association has recommended dentists across the country postpone all elective procedures and appointments for at least a few more weeks.

In a statement released March 16, ADA President Chad P. Gehani said, “The ADA is deeply concerned for the health and well-being of the public and the dental team.”

Given that timelines with this virus seem to change on an almost-daily basis, it is unclear if that recommendation will be extended. Most dental firms have updated their websites to reflect this change but do not specify when regular appointments are expected to resume.

Being that the virus can spread so unpredictably through infected people who exhibit no symptoms, it is important that people only break social distancing for urgent needs.

While scheduled appointments for routine cleanings and certain procedures are being delayed, the ADA recommends dentists shift their focus to emergency dental needs.

“Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments,” Gehani said.

As hospitals take in more and more patients who are sick from COVID-19, it becomes much harder for them to care for people with other illnesses and injuries.

If people are able to find help outside of a hospital, not only will they be avoiding potential exposure to the virus, but they will be lightening the load for health care workers who are dealing with the virus.